Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW
Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW

Resident who made a big impression

Callum Yates awarded by Owen Finegan

If you have spent any time at Warrane over the past few years, particularly at formal dinners, it will come as no surprise that medical-science student Callum Yates is one of the most popular residents in College.

Whenever his achievements are recognised with any kind of award a big cheer goes up for the gentle giant who always seems to be wearing a big smile on his face.

One of Callum’s most recent achievements was being accepted into the Bachelor of Medicine/ Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney.

The Rugby player from Hodgson Vale in Queensland says he reckons he could not have achieved what he has without Warrane’s help. “My advice to new residents is to really get involved in all the college has to offer,” he said. “The sporting, cultural and social aspects of everything at Warrane is really great for a young bloke who has just come out of home”.

“I think the most important thing to me was the academic side of things. With guys that have done the same courses that you’re in now in previous years being only a door knock away, retrospective advice was what really got me through.”

“I was very average academically coming out of high school but I think that the academic environment, especially the help from the academic and residential tutors, is what I attribute my recent success to.”

“Another piece of advice worth mentioning is the people that you meet through formal dinners should not be taken for granted. As a hopeful doctor, in my three years I was lucky enough to have dinner with a professor of medical oncology, a neurosurgeon, an OBGYN, a histopathologist as well as a Professor of Microbiology at the University of Notre Dame, all on an average Wednesday night.

“I also became well acquainted with (Warrane’s Master) Dr Gerald Fogarty who aided in keeping me inspired to study.”

Callum attended school at Toowoomba Grammar from 2006 to 2010 and had plenty of sporting success there. He was a Darling Downs representative in Rugby, achieved the runner-up to Age Champion in the Inter-House Swimming Championships, and was vice-captain of the GPS swimming team. He also represented the school in the Open 100 metres Butterfly in 2010.

But he said that Warrane offered him new opportunities in sport.

“Playing Rugby for Warrane was incredible,” he said. “Coming from a school like mine where everyone is so passionate about the performance in the school, especially in Rugby, I really loved the fact that the whole College gets around the team and shows their support.”

“I also got to play a position at Warrane that I have always wanted to play – blindside flanker – but never got to because number 8 seemed more appropriate to my skill.”

“I think having these experiences re-instilled a love for the sport that I may have lost due to injuries in my final year of school.”

In academic terms, Callum said Warrane did a great deal for him.

“The support that you’re given by everyone at the college really stood out to me,” he said. “My experience in waiting for med applications to come back was quite daunting and drawn out. I felt that the support, not only given from close mates of mine but also from others including the administration, really made me feel like I was a part of a family outside of my biological one.”

“I also loved the fact that everybody is treated the same no matter of their background and in the three years I have been in College, I can’t recall one instance of bullying, only a little bit of good-natured teasing here and there.”

If he was helped academically, Callum also put a lot back into the College, particularly in the College library.

“I would say I sort of supervised people while studying in the library,” he said, “although it didn’t require too much intervention.”

“I was also given the opportunity to be Head of the Science faculty which I took as ensuring the first years were coping alright with their study away from the comfort and support of their parents.”

Callum took part in many non-academic activities at Warrane, including the College’s Vinnie’s Night Patrol Van, which he describes as “a very eye opening and worthwhile experience”.

Professionally, he says he wants eventually to return to his country roots and give back to the community.

“In the long run I guess I want to go back and devote my time to rural health,” he explained. “Specifically, eye care to the indigenous and geriatric populations in that setting. So I would love to be accepted into the College of Ophthalmology post residency, although the competition is very fierce.”

Callum is one Warrane resident who has shown he is not put off by fierce competition and we are sure everyone in College wishes him well with his future endeavours.